Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash

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“Since the bill was passed and became law, the congressman wanted to help a local foundation receive some of the broadband money that otherwise would go to another state.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, called the stimulus “excessive” and voted against it, though she noted that money in the legislation would benefit her state. She, too, wrote to the USDA to support Alaska projects seeking stimulus funds.

“I opposed the stimulus bill as did most of my colleagues in the Republican caucus, but it was passed in Congress and signed into law,” she said, when asked about her support for project seeking stimulus funds.

“When constituents come to me asking for support in a competitive application process for funding for broadband expansion, I am happy to support their request. I will always fight to make sure my state gets its fair share of available federal dollars,” she added.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was yet another lawmaker who voted against the stimulus and later backed applications for stimulus money in two letters to the Agriculture Department.

“If the funds are there, Senator Grassleys going to help Iowa, rather than some other state, get its share,” spokeswoman Jill Kozeny said.

According to records, at least eight other Republicans lawmakers who voted against the stimulus later sent letters to the USDA backing various projects’ stimulus applications.

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